Materials Science & Engineering

Imagine how awesome the future can be!

Here in UW-Madison’s department of Materials Science and Engineering, you’ll study and collaborate with world-class researchers who use science to propel our society forward.

Can’t live without your super-fast smartphone? You can thank (or blame!) materials science for it; appreciate your fuel-efficient car? Brought to you in part by new materials! Are you excited by nanotechnology and the breakthroughs it offers in everything from cancer treatment to construction? The creation of new materials is where breakthroughs will happen, and you can join us in making them happen.

At UW-Madison, we’re driven forward by the belief that scientists and engineers must collaborate to help solve our world’s increasingly complex problems. Materials science and engineering offers you the toolkit you’ll need to be a part of that collaboration. Our students contribute to the understanding of everything from nanotechnology and sustainable energy production to space exploration and green construction.

Join us, and contribute to our next breakthroughs.

We are hiring!

We currently are seeks candidates for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level. The successful candidate will have expertise in metal alloys and related materials for applications in sustainability and performance in extreme environments. The department has adopted Materials Design as the unifying theme for our research and education activities. This theme is integrated into the department’s course offerings, research thrusts, and connections to our partners in industry, academia, and the public. For more information, please visit:

We are also seeking faculty candidates for a tenure track position in Quantum Materials, emphasizing materials synthesis. This position is part of a campus-wide cluster initiative to expand and broaden expertise in quantum science and engineering at UW-Madison. As part of the initiative there are new position vacancies in the Departments of Physics, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering. It is anticipated that successful candidates will develop strong collaborations with existing quantum research at UW Madison, as well as with other hires under this cluster program, and with external research centers. For more information, please visit:

We are also participating in two searches through the Grainger Institute for Engineering.

  • Assistant Professor position in Advanced Manufacturing: The Grainger Institute for Engineering and the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, and Industrial and Systems Engineering at UW- Madison seek candidates to join their interdisciplinary theme in the area of advanced manufacturing. We seek candidates with specialization spanning from fundamental, e.g., materials design for new manufacturing processes, to applied, e.g., the development of new manufacturing processes, integration of design with manufacturing, and enterprise-level manufacturing optimization. To view the flyer, please visit:


  • Assistant Professor position in Sensors and Sensing: The Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), in collaboration with the Grainger Institute for Engineering within the College of Engineering, seek candidates for up to two tenure-track faculty positions in the interdisciplinary area of sensors and sensing. To view the flyer, please visit:

Academic Programs

Bachelor of Science, Materials Science and Engineering

Everyone uses and consumes materials of all kinds: metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, semiconductors, and superconductors. Materials scientists and engineers create new materials and develop processes to improve existing materials to suit the needs of everyday life. These materials can help conserve energy, make engines run more efficiently, improve high-resolution TVs, make faster computers, improve sensors for automobiles, and create environmental controls. The study and development of materials is one of the most rapidly growing areas in all of science and engineering.

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Master's of Science and PhD in Materials Science & Engineering

Materials science and engineering is both a foundational discipline in engineering and a branch of science at the intersection of physics, chemistry, biology, and related disciplines. We offer graduate degrees in materials science and engineering, with a primary focus on PhD students, who perform cutting-edge independent research with the support of their advisors and thesis committee members.

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Master of Science in Nanomaterials and Nanoengineering

This Master's degree program is an accelerated, non-thesis named option within the Materials Science and Engineering department. Nanomaterials and nanoengineering are part of a rapidly expanding industrial segment. According to the NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Initiative, up to 1 million jobs in nanotechnology are expected to be available in the United States. This 12-month course-oriented program will help students with relevant undergraduate degrees to build a comprehensive fundamental and applied knowledge base for nanomaterials processing, characterization, and nanodevice development. It will enable Materials Science and Engineering students to enter the nano-engineering workforce directly after the Master's degree.

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MS&E Capstone Projects

Materials Science

The MS&E Capstone Projects are the culminating academic and intellectual experience for our students in their final year of undergraduate study. They require students to integrate the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the curriculum to solve problems creatively. The projects are also a sustained, year-long exercise in true engineering practice, from project planning through execution to delivery of results.

MS&E students work on a projects in materials design, selection, and application. The two capstone project courses (MSE 470 and 471) develop skills problem identification, experimental design, data acquisition and analysis, and presentation of results, with an emphasis on creativity and application of fundamental engineering principles.

Clients play a key role in defining, supporting, and guiding capstone projects.

Students work in teams to apply their knowledge to solve a directed, client-based materials science and engineering design project. They will work closely together with their client in development and execution a statement of work, use of research laboratory facilities, and conducting design of experiments culminating with a project report and presentation of research results to the client.

We tailor the capstone project teams to the engineering needs of our clients, including creating interdisciplinary engineering teams involving MS&E students and students from other departments across the College of Engineering to meet client needs.

Get involved with the MS&E Capstone Projects!